Mass protest in Assam’s BTAD after killing of a student leader

Guwahati: The Mushalpur area of Baksa district in Assam’s Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD) witnessed mass protest on Thursday following the killing of one student leader Manoj Das on Wednesday evening.
The protestors are demanding the arrest of the culprits who gunned down Das who was associated with a non-Bodo organization -- Oboro Suraksha Samittee. The protestors are also refusing to perform the last rites of the deceased student leader till the culprits are booked.

The villagers carry the body of slain student leader Manoj Das at Mushalpur area on Thursday.
The villagers carry the body of slain student leader Manoj Das at Mushalpur area on Thursday.
On Thursday, the Baksa district administration imposed curfew so that the law and order situation does not deteriorate further. Police also fired tear gas cells to disperse the agitating public.
According to police reports at around 7.05 pm on Wednesday evening some unidentified miscreants fired at Manoj Das (35), son of Prabhat Das of Belguri Pathar (Sirish Bari) under Mashalpur Police Station when he was about to leave for his residence along with his sick father who came to a pharmacy.
Many suspect it to be a handy work of former militants of Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) for supporting a non-Bodo candidate during the Lok Sabha election in the Kokrajhar constituency. Non-Bodo candidate Heera alias Naba Kumar Sarania emerged victorious in a huge margin against the candidates of Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) and Bodoland People’s Progressive Front (BPPF).
Several organizations and students’ bodies have condemned the incident and demanded arrest of the culprit.
“Manoj Das was killed by the militants of BLT for supporting Heera Sarania in the Lok Sabha polls. We demand that the culprits should be booked immediately and the government should ensure peace in the region,” said Zamsher Ali, president of BTAD Citizen Rights Forum (BCRF) who is also the chief spokesperson of Sanmilito Jonogosthiyo Oikya Mancho (SJPOM), an umbrella body of different non-Bodo organizations.
All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU), All BTC Minority Students’ Union (ABMSU) and others too staged protest throughout the day at different places of BTAD demanding the arrest of the culprits.
“This is a serious matter of concern. The people are being killed every day in the BTAD area but the government and administration are not doing enough for the safety and security of the common people. We demand that the administration should put all the efforts to nab the culprits,” said AAMSU vice president Ainuddin Ahmed.
Baska police has launched operation in the district to apprehend the culprits. Inspector General of Police S.N. Singh has also moved to Mashalpur to supervise the situation.
A few days ago four Muslim traders were also killed by Bodo militants in Baksa district. Besides another 45 people of Muslim community were also gunned down by the militants in May this year. However, no major step was taken the state government.
Kokrajhar MP Heera Sarania also condemned the incident and he vowed to raise the issue in the parliament. “We have been appealing to the government to take necessary action to stop the killings of human being but it is still going on. We condemn such act of violence and barbarism. We will raise the issue in the parliament,” Sarania said.
The availability of illegal arms is believed to be one prime reason for these rampant killings. A delegation of SJPOM will shortly visit the union home minister Rajnath Singh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee seeking solution to the problems of BTAD.
“The state government has utterly failed to control the killings in the BTAD. Time and again we have been appealing the chief minister Tarun Gogoi but in vain. During meetings he approved of doing things but in reality those things never take place. So we will meet the central ministers and president for their intervention,” SJPOM chief spokes person Zamsher Ali told
A senior police official of the state said more than 100 illegal arms were seized in BTAD during the time of elections. He added that since January this year, 42 militants of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbijit faction) have laid down their arms, while 18 others have been killed in encounters by police and the Army. According to sources, there are more than 200 members of NDFB(S) active in BTAD at present.
Along with others the Bodo Sahitya Sabha (BSS), the literary body of Bodo people, has also condemned the killing of Das. In a statement issued by the literary body appealed the public to maintain peace and harmony.